Kathryn Palmer-Skillings – London Wedding Celebrant
Kathryn is a London wedding celebrant who is as friendly and delightful as she looks in her photos. She has a passion for delivering joyful wedding ceremonies that centre on what matters most to each unique couple she works with.
Kathryn describes herself ‘an empathetic, enthusiastic, cat-loving, feminist and occasional nerd who is passionate about people, love, inclusion and creating fabulous memories for couples who want a relaxed, fun-filled wedding ceremony.’
Read on to discover her thoughts on love, being a celebrant and err bananas!
Get to know Kathryn…
I think the most joy and fun comes from couples who choose to have a ceremony that completely reflects them and their story.
Tell me your celebrant story – how did life lead you to becoming a wedding celebrant?
I have been a Humanist for many years and was drawn to becoming a Wedding Celebrant because I love people and weddings, and people at weddings. I love getting to know them, I love learning what matters to them and I love working with them to make sure they have a wonderful time! I became a celebrant after two friends had a humanist wedding. Their wedding celebrated them so perfectly, reflecting their love story and different cultures coming together, that I was inspired to be part of creating that for others. They now joke that if only I’d decided sooner, I could have married them, but without their wedding, I’m not a celebrant… It is a wedding paradox! I love ritual & celebration, humans have been marking milestones by gathering people around them for thousands of years. I’m honoured to be part of that for every couple I create a wedding ceremony for. One of my favourite things is a fabulous day filled with love that makes people feel good.
What does ‘love’ mean to you?
Love is having the courage to give space and support to the person or people you love so that you can change, grow and remain individuals who still share common ground. It is being able to bring the real you; nerdy quirks, vulnerabilities, dreams and all to your shared life together. Love is making space for all those things equitably and using them to build a joint endeavour that celebrates you as people and your relationship as an adventure!
What do you bring to the role of a wedding celebrant that noone else does?
I create personal, meaningful wedding ceremonies for all couples. At the same time, a lot of my couples come to me because they trust me to create a really inclusive ceremony. My unique selling point is my absolute commitment to equity and inclusion for all my couples and making sure their ceremony is created to absolutely celebrate them in all their glory! That could be supporting a couple to reject cis-gendered, hetero-normative assumptions that can often be found in standard weddings. It could be creating a ceremony for a couple that is blending their families and want to create a ceremony that’s sensitive to the complexities of that. I’m often booked by couples for whom feminism and gender equality are central to their values and they want a wedding that doesn’t rely on patriarchal tropes. I am especially skilled in creating inclusive and accessible weddings that truly celebrate couples and individuals from the LGBTQIA+ and/or Disabled/Chronic Illness/Neurodivergent Communities. I’m on a mission to banish ableism in wedding ceremonies! Here are some of the reasons couples book me: **I’m a natural people person. I get energy from spending time with lovely people and making you feel valued – I’m an empathetic listener, always willing to support you to have the wedding you want. Lots of my couples talk about being made to feel at ease when, perhaps they didn’t expect to, or feeling supported through tricky situations. **I’m definitely an enthusiast! When I’m delivering your wedding ceremony I’ll do so with warmth and joy – when we first meet, I’m highly likely to chat to you exuberantly about your wedding plans – I can’t play it cool and aloof, it’s just not my style. **I love feeling connected to my community, but I’m not a natural on social media. You’ll find me posting pics of the eclectic range of things I like on the ‘gram, but I’m never going to be a pro at memes and reels – I much prefer blogging and connecting in other ways. Most of my couples find me through word of mouth and most are similarly inclined to different ways of connecting. **I’m really values-driven and my couples tend to be too! I’m passionate about making a difference, supporting causes that matter to me, and trying in my own way to make the world, and weddings, more inclusive. **I love making meaningful choices, I make choices based on what feels right, what aligns with my values, and what I think will be fun. I don’t follow the pack or just accept ‘what’s expected’. Couples who book me are often the same, especially around wedding planning! I’m likely to get you thinking about what’s important for your ceremony, your wedding, and your marriage – it’s big, exciting stuff!
Why do you recommend that couples have a celebrant-led ceremony?
A humanist celebrant-led wedding ceremony is a unique wedding ceremony written, crafted and curated only for you Every wedding ceremony I create is completely unique, I work with you both to get to know you and your story, I listen to what’s important to you about marriage, what your values are, what makes you both laugh out loud and what drives you up the wall about each other. I then use all of this insight to create a meaningful, personalised wedding ceremony that could only ever be yours! A Humanist celebrant-led ceremony reflects the fact that your story has already begun. It truly centres and celebrates your story so far as equally important to the chapters you are about to write. In fact, for lots of couples, their favourite part of the wedding ceremony is where I tell their story and share the path that led to their wedding. It’s often the bit that guests comment on most positively because it really shows that the ceremony is entirely personal. A Humanist celebrant-led wedding ceremony truly reflects and celebrates the diversity of real life! A humanist wedding celebrates your relationship while at the same time can reflect and honour the family and or community that you are part of. It also doesn’t make any assumptions about what a community looks like. It doesn’t rely on patriarchal tropes of cis-gendered, hetero-normative families only. It will celebrate friends and chosen families as enthusiastically. A Humanist wedding ceremony is crafted entirely uniquely just for you. It will reflect your values and what matters to you! A humanist wedding ceremony will feel different, because it will feel entirely authentic to you both. It will celebrate and be centred purely on the people involved and the love between you – That’s what makes them so feel-good.
My most memorable wedding ceremony to date is…
I think the most joy and fun comes from couples who choose to have a ceremony that completely reflects them and their story. For example, one couple I married wanted a unity candle ceremony but couldn’t have flames in their venue. While chatting at their wed-meet, I found out they met over shots at their favourite bar. These shots were made up of two different spirits, topped with cream. So we created a unity shots ceremony instead! With the Best Women carrying the ingredients down the aisle in place of bouquets. It was absolutely perfect for the couple and brought a lot of joy and fun – getting the party started! Another memorable ceremony was very different. This couple wanted a beautiful pared-back ceremony that was really initimate and celebrated the family and friends who had supported them. This was especially important as there were family members who didn’t feel ready to support their relationship and planned not to attend. In the days running up to the wedding, the family gt in touch, apologised and showed real acceptance. They asked if they could attend and seeing the faces of my couple seeing their loved ones there on the day was amazing!
If I wasn’t a celebrant I’d probably…
I actually have a ‘day job’ that I love! I work in Inclusion and Advocacy at a national charity.
Tell us something no one knows about you…
Worryingly…I overshare so I cannot think of anything! 🙂 I HATE Bananas… but lots of people know that…
Comnect with Kathryn